||Adams, Memoirs of Arii Taimai
Table of Contents
Chapter VI (continued)
Wallis’s narrative an air of romance so charmingly old fashioned that any words but his own would spoil it.
"On Saturday, the 11th, in the afternoon, the gunner came on board with a tall woman, who seemed to be about five-and-forty years of age, of a pleasing countenance and majestic deportment. He told me that she was but just corne into that part of the country, and that seeing great respect paid her by the rest of the natives, he had made her some presents; in return for which she had invited him to her house, which was about two miles up the valley, and given him some large hogs; after which she returned with him to the watering place and expressed a desire to go on board the ship, in which he had thought it proper, on all accounts, that she should be gratified. She seemed to be under no restraint, either from diffidence or fear, when she first came into the ship, and she behaved all the while she was on board with an easy freedom that always distinguishes conscious superiority and habitual command. I gave her, a large blue mantle that reached from her shoulders to her feet, which I threw over her, and tied on with ribands; I gave her also a looking-glass, beads of several sorts, and many other things, which she accepted with a very good grace and much pleasure. She took notice that I had been ill, and pointed to the shore. I understood that she meant I should go thither to perfect my recovery, and I made signs that I would go thither the next morning. When she intimated an inclination to return, I ordered the gunner to go with her, who, having set her on shore, attended her to her habitation, which he described as being very large and well built. He said that in this house she had many guards and domestics, and that she had another at a little distance which was enclosed in lattice-work."
This visit first opened the island to the Englishmen, as Wallis instantly noticed; but he was so much more interested in his introduction into good native society that he quite lost sight of politics. From this moment until he sailed from the island, July 27, his narrative ran almost wholly on the subject of "my princess, or rather queen," until it
© Derived from the revised Paris edition of 1901 page 48, 2004
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